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Welcome Letter: From Principal Jonathan Ellis

Welcome to Belforest Elementary,


My name is Jonathan Ellis. I am the newly appointed principal for Belforest Elementary School. Here we are, together, at the beginning of the very first chapter of an exciting story of relationships, creativity and empowerment.


Even though there are no physical classrooms, handbooks and car rider numbers yet, this is the time to start planning for our opening in August, an opening which will be exciting, but equally emotional.


I say emotional because we have a monumental task before us which is going to take our time, effort and heart, and will involve a symbiotic collective effort to create a school like no other.


I have been the principal at Daphne Elementary School for the past eight years.  Prior to that, I was the principal at Orange Beach Elementary and an Assistant principal in Elberta.  I taught grades 1, 3, 4 and 5 before my beginning my career in administration.  My wife, Page, and I met in high school and have been married for 21 years.  We have two school-age children who both attended Daphne Elementary while I was principal.  My kids, Caleb and Mary Page, are the eighth generation on the family land where we live.  We have deep roots here.


I want to share with you my vision for our new school. This vision is two-fold: 1. To establish an intentional culture of empowerment built on high trust relationships. 2. To build and maintain a level of creative excitement.


This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us all, and I intend on doing a lot of listening and collaborating with kids, parents and community members.


We all have questions.  I get it!  As a parent, I would want to know the school schedule, what carline looks like, when do we meet the teacher, where’s the school supply list, etc.  


Over the next few months, I will be working with so many people to get the logistics worked out.  When I know, you will know.  Your patience is appreciated. I expect to provide you more details the first of March with a lot of answers to your questions.


Besides logistics, I’m equally interested in collaborating with members of the Belforest community on school branding and mission statement building.  I have a plan to involve you in an unprecedented way to ensure our school truly embodies the thoughts and ideas of its community.


I am even more interested in providing our community with training regarding culture building.  I am passionate about building a culture in our school and the community we serve.  This will be the key to the success of our school.


As you can see, there’s a lot which needs to be done.  I will be working out of BCBE offices on the Eastern Shore while preparing for the opening of school.


I would like to keep in touch so please visit, like and share our Facebook page with as many as you can. I have some exciting community building activities coming soon, and I’m going to need your talents. Also, THIS FB PAGE will be my PRIMARY communication method for the time being (


You may reach me at Our new school also has a telephone number where you can leave a message (251-607-5624). You may also choose to follow me on Twitter (@BelforestSchool). Again, your patience is appreciated as I am currently assembling an all-star staff to teach and serve our community.


I will have another comprehensive email the first week of March, but in the meantime, check in with me on Facebook when you have time. 


I look forward to meeting each of you and your children!


In service,

Jonathan D. Ellis


Serve. Inspire. Shepherd. Grow.